The Iranian president says his country's military is the most reliable force to take on "terrorists in the region" — a reference to the extremist Islamic State group.

Hassan Rouhani says Iranian troops are willing to help both Iraq and Syria in the struggle against IS militants, but insisted Tehran has no military intentions toward other nations.

Rouhani's speech at an annual parade Tuesday in Tehran was broadcast live on state TV.

He says that if the "terrorists begin to expand in the region, the only hope will be Iran's army and the Revolutionary Guards."

Rouhani said Mideast nations should not put too much faith in "Western powers as their defenders."

Iran has already sent military advisers to both Iraq and Syria to help in the battle with IS militants.